Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements


Lesson Info

Work with Multiple Shape Layers

And, let's enhance this a little bit with the brushes. So I wanna start with this shape one layer. So I basically want to be able to add to this by painting. So the easiest way, I think, to communicate this and show you how this works is we're gonna use clipping groups. Clipping groups we've seen already in this course. We clipped, for example, the shadow on the cat yesterday when we put the cat in the basket and then we painted the shadow and then we clipped it so it only appeared on the cat. Where else did we have clipping paths? We've used them a few times in the course. So hopefully this will be just a nice little review but they're super handy for any time that you just want to apply one layer but have it affect only one other layer in your layers panel. So in this case, we're gonna paint and I only want the paint to show up on the little hill that we drew. So, I'm gonna make a new blank layer and before I do anything, I'm gonna clip it to the shape layer one which is the hill. So...

that means, with this layer directly on top of the hill layer, I'm gonna hold down alt or option on my keyboard and when I do that, I can see my cursor turns into this funny square with that downward pointing arrow. And if I click in between the two layers, this layer will get indented and we see that it's now clipped to this. So that means anything I put on this layer, like paint that we're about to do, it will only appear wherever it overlaps this layer. So basically, it allows me to paint inside the lines without even trying. It's really nice. It's kind of like if you're painting the room in your house, it's like taping the trim so you don't paint the trim. We're basically taping the trim with this clipping layer. So, let's take a look at how we do that. Let's pick I guess a color that we want for the texture that we're gonna put on this grass. And I'm thinking, hmmm, we could try like a brown but maybe I think what we'll do is I'm gonna sample. I'm gonna grab the eyedropper tool, grab the eyedropper tool, and click in the image to just sample that color that we picked. And what I want to do is basically have the same kind of color but just darker. So with this active, I can click on that swatch to load it here in my color picker and then all I have to do is pick something lower down and it will be darker but like within the same hue. So maybe something, let's see, like this. And it's showing me, here's my new color that I'm about to choose and here's the color I started with. So I can even compare like that. So we'll go ahead and click OK. So now I've got that color. I'm gonna go back to my brush tool over here and I'm gonna choose from this dropdown. Instead of the default brushes, I'm gonna go to these faux finish brushes. I really like these. Down below, one of my favorite ones is this, what is it called? Comb, I guess, probably. Texture comb three or texture comb one. I like that these ones are slanted although you can edit that so I'll show you how you do that. Let's double click texture comb three to load it and here, in my brush settings, if I click I can also adjust the angle. So if I put my cursor in the screen, you can see that it's at a diagonal and I would like it to be less of a diagonal. So I'm gonna come to that brush settings option and you see what it says angle? I can actually grab this little arrow right here and spin to rotate the brush like this. Oh, that was too much. Now we get to play Goldilocks. Alright, close that, there we go. So that's about what I actually want. And that's all I'm gonna do to change that and then I can come in here and just start painting. And however I wanna do this, maybe I do strokes like this. Photoshop will catch up to me someday. I'll close this panel, get that out of our way. So maybe I just do single strokes, maybe then I change the direction of this brush and come back the other way. So you have a lot of options but you'll notice that as I paint, it's all just showing up within that hillside. So I don't have to worry about trying to stay within the line of the hill. So that creates a really neat texture on the hill. Let's see what we can add to our mountain layers. The mountain layers, there are two of them, so we can try to do this twice or we could do a group. So to group these two layers, I just select one, shift click the other, and then to put them in a folder as a group, I'm gonna press command or control G and that groups them. So I can make another new blank layer and clip that layer to the whole group, again by pressing and holding the alt or option key. Now, instead of having to take this layer and do it twice and group it, clip it once to this mountain and once to this mountain, I can put both mountains in a folder and then use this to clip to the whole thing. So I can like tape off the whole house in one piece of tape basically. So what color should we put on the mountains? Let's do the same thing. Let's get a sample of the gray color that we already have and I'll pull the color picker back up and pick a darker shade of gray. And maybe, instead of that texture comb, let's go back to our brush and we're in those faux finishes. And let's see, some of these, I know in here there's like a rag roll or something. If we hover there's plastic wrap, hmmm, rolled rag, let's try that. What is this gonna look like? I don't remember. So, maybe this one, instead of like clicking and dragging, maybe I stamp with it a little bit. So you can see how you can get this texture in your image. Let's do one more for the cloud. I'll click over here to bring up the cloud and make a new layer right on top of it. So the reason I click on each of these to select it first is because I want that new blank layer to be right above whatever layer that I'm trying to attach it to. So in this case the cloud, we'll go ahead and rename that cloud. So I clicked on the cloud because when you add a new layer, by default, Photoshop will create that layer on top of your current layer. So it just saves me the step of having to rearrange my layers panel. Alright, so again, let's clip these. So I'll hold down the alt or option key to get those grouped together. And maybe we'll do something different here, I don't know. Let's pick that same color. And then let's pick a lighter color to go with that. And let's do a different texture. Ooh, maybe we use one of these. These are mesh brushes. I'm gonna pick this larger mesh brush and if I make it too large, I might get like a pixely kind of a stamp mark on it. So I'm gonna keep it rather small and I can either paint with it and get an effect like that. If I undo this, or I can stamp with it and get an effect like that. So that's kinda fun.

We all have hundreds of images on our smartphones and cameras that we never do anything with. Adobe Photoshop Elements is the perfect tool for beginners to use for organizing and editing those images. Khara Plicanic will show you the practical ways to use this software by using step-by-step projects you can follow along with at home. You’ll get hands-on practice at making selections and working with layers, doing simple retouching, and adding text to your images.

You’ll also learn: 

• Basic adjustments to color and adding contrast to photos 
• Understanding resolution and image resizing and how to use the crop tool 
• Simple retouching and image compositing

No Photoshop Elements class would be complete without shedding light on file saving and organizing your images for a complete workflow! By the time you’re finished with this class, you’ll be creating beautiful images to share with your family and friends.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5.1


Class Introduction
Understand How Elements Works
Importing Images
Workspace Basics: Organizer
Workspace Basics: Editor
Tonal Adjustments in Quick Fix
Color Adjustments in Quick Fix
Apply Black & White Filters
Sharpen an Image
Fix Red Eye & Pet Eye
Straighten an Image in Quick Fix
Explanation of Photoshop Elements
Basic Cropping in Quick Fix
Guided Edit Overview
Guided Edit: Tilt Shift
Ways to Save Files
Layers & Simple Selections
Combine Images with Layers
How to Use Layer Styles
Make Selections with Layers
Make Selection with Lasso
Compositing with Multiple Images
Refine Edge Selection on Image
Use Refine Edge on Images
Create Gradient in Image
Gradient Map Differences
Options for Saving
Brushes Overview
Creatively Use Brushes
How to Change Brush Settings
Use Shape Tool with Brushes
Work with Multiple Shape Layers
Finish Image with Custom Shape Tool
How to Load Brushes into Elements
Add Layer Style to Image
Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template
Retouching Overview
How to Use Content-Aware Fill
How to Use Content-Aware Move Tool
Spot Healing Brush on Blemishes
Remove Frown Lines with Retouching
How to Remove Tattoos
Remove a Gap in Teeth
How to Whiten Teeth
Adjust Facial Features
Working with Type Overview
Match Type for Image
How to Manipulate Type Layers
Create Postcard with Type
Add Type on a Path
Organizing Images in Elements
Add Keywords to Images
Smart Tags Overview
Using Albums in Elements
Places Workspace Overview
Use Event Tags on Images
Timeline for Image Organization
Recommended Workflow


  • Just watching this class live. It's my first class with Khara; she is a wonderful teacher, moving at a steady speed but always being careful to let us know what she's doing in the moment. I would classify myself as intermediate in terms of PSE but I've learned lots of little things that will make further use even easier and more fun. I really appreciated her descriptions of the difference between PS and PSE and her encouragement in using Photoshop Elements and all that it can do.
  • I have only been able to watch portions of this class but every single part that I have watched has been technically clear and inspiring to me. Based on this experience and the thorough, 58 item list of lessons, I will surely be buying this class soon! Thank you Khara and Creativelive for making a class on this topic and making it be super!!
  • Great course. You can tell she knows the programme inside out.